Tag Archives: Eleni Pappas

Avengers: Endgame takes fans on emotional ride

Story by Eleni Pappas

It is finally here. The end of the road on a long journey spanning over a decade. In the aftermath of Infinity War, the surviving Avengers are left devastated with no hope. Now, the remaining heroes engage in a last-ditch effort to avenge the fallen, entering the final fight for the fate of the universe.

It has been 11 years since the first Iron Man (2008) came out, starting this incredible adventure for Marvel fans all over. Now, finally, Avengers: Endgame has arrived to finish what the cast and creators of Iron Man started all those years ago. Everything until now has been building up to this movie. Released April 25, the theaters flooded with fans, and has the biggest opening weekend ever.

The movie opens up with Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) just before Thanos’ snap, enjoying a day outside with his family. One moment, he is teaching his daughter archery while his wife and sons make hot dogs, and the next everyone but Barton is gone. Turned to dust. At this point, the audience is silent and the mood is somber. Then the scene shifts to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), aboard a spaceship and stranded in space with only Nebula (Karen Gillan) for company. When they run out of resources and all hope seems lost, the one and only Captain Marvel comes to their rescue. Five years later Stark has moved on from the Avengers and everyone has lost all hope of bringing back the fallen. That is until Ant-Man/Scott Lang miraculously returns from the Quantum Realm with an insanely improbable plan that might just work.

For the audience, Endgame is a rollercoaster of emotions, having way more funny moments than anyone could have predicted. Many assumed the film would be dark and tragic, but it is amazing how seamlessly certain scenes went from laugh-inducing to tear-jerking and vice-versa in a matter of minutes. Every Avenger had their share of hilarious and dramatic moments, but overall the film retained a serious tone fitting for what fans are calling the end of an era. By the end of the movie, no one in the audience left the same as they first entered. There was hardly a dry eye in the theater. While the film still left some unanswered questions and audiences are split on whether the ending left them satisfied, altogether many can agree it was as epic a film as expected.

Directed by the Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally complete with Endgame. For the audience, endings are always sad, but many look forward to the future of Phase 4. Endgame currently in theaters now.

 

Fans rain praise on The Umbrella Academy

Art By Sam Haney

Story By Eleni Pappas

A day beginning like every other ends with the world forever changed when something strange occurs to women all over the globe.

Dozens of mostly-single women conceive, carry, and give birth within a matter of minutes on the same day, at the exact same time. The children of these women are special in more ways than the circumstances of their instant birth and conception. Not only do they grow up to display miraculous abilities, but these children are destined to save the world.

It was a day beginning like every other — that is, until Netflix premiered “The Umbrella Academy” on Feb. 15. Based on the comic written by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, who also serve as executive producers for the show, the series centers on the seven adopted super children of eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves. The show stars more than a few notable names, including Robert Sheehan (Misfits), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Ellen Page (Juno).

The story opens up in the year 1989, with an anonymous narrator describing the inexplicable births of 43 children all over the world. Sir Hargreeves make it his mission to adopt as many of these children as possible and manages to find and adopt seven of them. He raises them in the Academy to train as heroes rather than live as kids, and only when he builds them a robotic mother are they given real names.

Number One is Luther (Tom Hopper), Two is Diego (David Castañeda), Three is Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Four is Klaus (Sheehan), and Seven is Vanya (Page). In the present the unnamed Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), has been missing for many years after he used his time travel ability to disappear into the future. Number Six, Ben (Justin H. Min), is stated to be deceased, presumably murdered on a childhood mission.

In the present, all the siblings are now 30, estranged from each other and the team long disbanded. Each of them are messed up in their own unique ways due to the strange nature of their upbringing. The sudden death of Sir Hargreeves brings them back together for the funeral, but things remain highly tense between the siblings. However, they are reunited in a common purpose when Number Five returns from the future, still a boy, and informs the team that the world ends in eight days. At first they think he might be crazy, but it soon becomes clear the fate of the world lies in their less-than capable hands.

“The Umbrella Academy” is a smash hit, complete with deep and complex characters, dark humor, tear jerking moments, great acting, and an incredible soundtrack. The shows continuing plot mixes those from the first few volumes, but still honors the source material while standing on its own. Gallagher, who is only 15, has been picked out as one of the most impressive actors on the series. Sheehan is another fan favorite, with arguably the most compelling character exploration as the show draws on. Sheehan as Klaus made fans both laugh and cry, being a source of much comedy in the show while also playing an addict who uses to numb his ability to speak with the dead.

On the negative side, some fans are disgusted with the perceived incest within the show. Throughout the show it becomes obvious two of the Hargreeves children have romantic feelings towards each other, which have made certain viewers uncomfortable. Other fans have defended this by saying they are not real siblings, as they are adopted, and were not raised as such. Instead, fans say they were raised simply to fight alongside each other, but not as regular siblings. Either way, for some, the romance felt unnecessary and did not fit with the rest of the show.

Do they end up saving the world and stopping the apocalypse? To find out watch all ten episodes of “The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix.

 

‘The Greatest Showman’ soars, sticks the landing

By Eleni Pappas

Art by Tori Roberts

An audience fills the stands, shouting and stomping their feet in a rhythmic pattern, waiting in anticipation for the show to finally begin. An array of acts like never before, a revolutionary form of entertainment, bearded ladies singing, an eight foot tall giant, gymnasts being thrown through the air hundreds of feet up. All of it led by one man, The Greatest Showman.

Famous celebrities step back into the musical spotlight in the film such as Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) and Zac Efron (High School Musical). Zendaya takes a major role for the second time in 2017. The historical musical drama movie was released on Dec. 20 of last year, directed by first time movie director Michael Gracey, and is anticipated to win in the upcoming Oscars.

The story begins with young P.T. Barnum, played by Jackman, who is the son of a poor tailor. The beginning quickly zooms through how he falls in love with his wife Charity, actress Michelle Williams, and begins a family. Once he gets let go from his desk job Barnum takes out a loan to start a wax museum, which quickly fails. Then he takes from his childhood memories as inspiration to start a circus.

As we see the rise of Barnum and the Circus’ fame, we also get to see Efron’s and Zendaya’s characters, Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler, fall in love. Carlyle is Barnum’s protege, and Wheeler is an African American trapeze artist, and the two come together on the show. Audiences get to witness the historical romance between two people coming from different worlds and dealing with the issues that come with that. There was hardly enough of this delicate relationship and it should have been more of a focus. The chemistry between Zendaya and Efron is palpable, and Efron even said in multiple interviews that theirs was his best onscreen kiss due to their characters’ story.

The Greatest Showman’s music has quickly grown in popularity. Its soundtrack rising to number 5 on BillBoard 200 albums chart and “This Is Me” won Golden Globe’s award for Best Original Song. “Rewrite The Stars,” sang by Efron and Zendaya, is also a favorite. Gasps were heard during the scene their characters sang together, flying through the air. Certain parts cause chills, such as the iconic opening scene when Jackman softly sings the “ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for” lyric in the “Greatest Show.” The song writing features Benj Pasek and Justin Pau, known for their songs in La La Land for which they won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

The film takes audiences on an adventure of a lifetime, filled with its highs and lows. Within the theater, there definitely was a major share of those without any dry eyes. Some shed tears within in the first few minutes, seeing Barnum and Charity’s love story. Others waited more toward the end, on a less happy note, due to any number of reasons. When the movie ended people walked out, singing the tune of the songs they remembered.

All in all, the film ultimately circles around themes of following dreams, uniting family, and staying true to oneself. Barnum’s struggle with fame and his family, the forbidden romance, and the circus act’s fighting to be proud of their uniqueness all go to show that. The issues these characters face, and often sing about, are relatable. As Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its curtains, The Greatest Showman is a fitting final homage to Barnum’s dream that lived on stage for 146 years.

Bonnie and Clyde: A crime of love vs. a love of crime

By Eleni Pappas and Madison Fuson

Many romanticists are into daring love stories, especially the ones that keep the audience on the run with guns and robberies. When it comes to notorious romances, most think of Romeo and Juliet until he or she hears the criminal details in question. Then the focus may shift to Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were born in Texas, around the 1900s. Bonnie was 19 and a waitress at the time when she first encountered Clyde, who was two years older. They met in January of 1930 through a mutual friend. Bonnie was known to be a good citizen before Clyde; however, she did have an abusive husband, whom she never divorced while with Clyde. Clyde was coerced into the crime life by his brother at an early age, through robberies.

The first true crime as “Bonnie and Clyde” was technically Clyde’s jailbreak. He escaped imprisonment using a gun Bonnie smuggled to him, already in love.

The crime spree truly began when they were joined in 1932 by gunman Raymond Hamilton, Raymond was later replaced by William Daniel Jones. On March 23, 1933 the gang was joined by Clyde’s brother, Ivan or “Buck,” having been released from Texas State Prison and granted full pardon by the governor. Buck’s wife, Blanche, joined as well, but later was captured when Buck was killed. However, the group had already made a stream of headlines with each daring robbery they enacted.

While Bonnie and Clyde were criminals, the media portrayed them to be that of superstars. A photo in which the couple posed with the rest of gang holding guns and cigars became famous and was used in many newspapers, showcased like the cover of a magazine. Not all media showed them favoritism, one in particular,  New York Daily News did not mind to call Clyde a “kill-crazy youth” and Bonnie his “moll” (a gangster’s female companion or prostitute). Still, as with any celebrity, any press is good press and the pair flaunted having the spotlight.

The last crime they would commit before the day that their lives would end was in January, 1934. On this day, Clyde helped along with a jailbreak for Eastham, killing a prison guard and escaping with multiple convicts besides his friends. One in particular was Henry Methvin.

Later on April 1, the same year, with a posse led by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, Barrow would kill two highway patrolmen in a pursuit in the area of Grapevine, Texas. After these two crimes and Methvin’s own murder acts after the pursuit, the foreshadowing events would lead to the fateful end of the duo and their gang.

Those events lead America to the day of betrayal and lives lost. Methvin’s father, for pardon of his son by the government for the crimes, would give Texas Ranger Frank Hamer the whereabouts of Bonnie and Clyde. On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down by Hamer’s hidden squad after driving down the backroad to pick up Methvin’s father beside a broken down truck. The couple did try to drive away in escape, but the hail of bullets killed them instantly.

The story of Bonnie and Clyde may not be as romantic as some remember; however, that does not mean one can not appreciate their daring tale. Go see “Bonnie and Clyde” put on by the Theatre Department this weekend and Sept. 1-3. Tickets prices can be found online at http://www.floydcentraltheatre.org.

 

Seniors look toward final week of high school

By Eleni Pappas

It is nearing that time of every school year for certain upperclassman. Not only a time of new beginnings, but sadly of goodbyes. Friends who have been together for years parted as one is headed away for graduation and college. Once again the underclassmen say farewell to their senior brethren and plan how they are to keep in touch till they themselves graduate and move beyond the high school experience. Continue reading Seniors look toward final week of high school